Ukraine

Russia’s policy toward Ukraine remains unchanged after Volodymyr Zelensky replaced Petro Poroshenko as the new president of Ukraine last year, the Kremlin said Wednesday.

“A consistent policy is being pursued to facilitate the implementation of the Minsk agreements in every possible way,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a daily briefing.

The Minsk agreements, signed in September 2014 and February 2015 respectively, were designed to peacefully end the conflict in eastern Ukraine’s separatist region of Donbass.

The agreements envisage a ceasefire, a withdrawal of heavy weaponry from the demarcation line, a prisoner exchange, and local elections, among other measures.

In December, leaders of the Normandy Four — Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany — met in Paris, where Kiev and Moscow agreed on the full and comprehensive implementation of a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.

The four parties also pledged to support implementing an updated demining plan, establishing three additional disengagement zones, and conducting a prisoner swap.

Also on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a news conference that the next Normandy Four summit may only be held after all agreements reached at the Paris meeting are implemented. Enditem

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